Why the C-Level Should Sit Up and Take Notice of Kubernetes in the Enterprise

<< back Page 2 of 2

In today’s volatile market climate, enterprise IT experts also value the fact that Kubernetes enables fast scaling of a network. This is imperative because rapid changes in demand for products or ser­vices can often be limited by finite compute resources from enterprise architecture that cannot scale quickly enough. This can equate to lost business, a poor customer experience, or even business failure.

Cloud Flexibility Finally Realized

Meanwhile, the inexorable move of business systems to the cloud goes on. In 2019, IFS conducted a study of 600 business decision makers from around the world to gauge cloud migration progress and strat­egies. When the data from this survey was compared to data from a similar IFS study in 2012, the research showed that the per­centage of companies now relying on var­ious forms of cloud enterprise software provisioning had almost doubled, while the percentage of companies with on-premise solutions was nearly cut in half.

But in a cloud-first environment, there are certain business requirements or sce­narios that favor on-premise deployment or even the ability to move back and forth between public cloud, private cloud, and on-premise scenarios. In addition, an on-premise or private cloud application may need to seamlessly make use of compute resources in a public cloud to handle peak or “hockey stick” demand. Applications built with Kubernetes just make this easier.

Business Leaders Shape Their Deploy­ment Methodology

Kubernetes can help orchestrate con­tainerization in a multitude of environ­ments. These include hosting software on a vendor’s cloud, self-hosting by a business, or even a hybrid environment where the core application stack is self-hosted, but several of the application services are accessed as cloud services run by the software vendor. The hybrid option allows businesses to off­load some of the deployment complexity.

This means that functions that might be better held close, rather than placed in a public or even private cloud due to regula­tory or practical considerations, can be run on-premise or wherever is most practical for the customer. The instance of software can be augmented by services from the software vendor ranging from reporting, optimization engines, cognitive services, and more. Courtesy of Kubernetes, differ­ent parts of the application can be run from separate servers on-premise, in a private cloud, or public cloud—all depending on what makes sense.

Security Built-In

To ensure key security provisions are respected as things change, Kubernetes must be used in the software stack as a con­tainer orchestration tool. Why? Because one benefit of containerization is the abil­ity to quickly move new software into pro­duction, enabling rapid change and digital transformation. But as every CIO will know, with every new deployment, security issues immediately raise their cyber heads. Which external device or system is authorized to access the software? Which users are enabled to view and interact with which data? Which roles in the organization have which access permissions? All these rules and policies must be enforced as the application changes. This degree of management is easier if secu­rity is addressed early in the software devel­opment process—which means there are security benefits if Kubernetes and contain­erization are delivered as part of a packaged software application.

The most advanced enterprise soft­ware applications will increasingly own the Kubernetes container orchestration process in ways that automatically respect the secu­rity and permissions reflected in the applica­tion as a whole. Enterprise applications will deliver the software services in the form of Docker containers, orchestrated by Kuber­netes. This will provide the scaling benefits of having regional Kubernetes clusters serve multiple customers, and enable the software vendor to ensure that the application retains full separation and privacy of customers’ solutions through use of customer-specific Kubernetes namespaces, network separa­tion, encryption, and database instances. Enterprise software vendors not intent on selling their own proprietary technology can make use of packaged Kubernetes environ­ments such as Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Service in their technology stack.

Kubernetes Gains Ground

With cloud-based enterprise software becoming the norm, set against a back­drop of businesses having to adapt their processes and operations in a highly volatile economic environment, Kuber­netes-supported software deployments are a perfect fit. Those C-level executives responsible for business change and devel­opment should not ignore the power of Kubernetes and its ability to ensure their business has the digital foundation to adapt in a safe, secure, and efficient man­ner for years to come. 

<< back Page 2 of 2